Eurasian Crossroads : History and the present in Xinjiang. Ancient paintings suggest China invented skiing BEIJING, Jan. 25, 2006 ‑‑ Cliff paintings of hunters in rugged remote northwestern China appear to prove that Chinese were adept skiers as early as the Stone Age, Xinhua said Monday.
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Ancient paintings suggest China invented skiing
BEIJING, Jan. 25, 2006 ‑‑ Cliff paintings of hunters in rugged remote northwestern China appear to prove that Chinese were adept skiers as early as the Stone Age, Xinhua said Monday.
The paintings in Altay, in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, "have been verified as humans hunting while skiing and, therefore, archaeologists can prove the Altay region to be a place of skiing some 100 to 200 centuries ago," the news agency said.
Wang Bo, a noted researcher with the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Regional Museum, said he had seen a picture of four people chasing cattle and horses, three of them on a long rectangular board with poles in their hands.
"Hence, he held these instruments are skis and ski poles," Xinhua said.
"(Experts) held that cliff paintings in Altay were the earliest archaeological evidence to show how humans had skied in the early days and suggest skiing had originated in Altay."
Skiing has become a popular pastime for China's burgeoning new middle class, with several slopes around the capital, Beijing, packed every winter weekend.
China has claimed a number of firsts, including the inventions of gunpowder, the printing press, golf, football and even pasta.
Asian monsoon → Xinjiang aridity
. . . → Agriculture in southern oases, pastoralism in northern steppes and mountains
→ Tarim basin ruled by northern horse nomads
The pattern of the Xinjiang past: linked to Chinese - Inner Asian interactions in North China and Mongolia
→ ruling elite lends name to empire, masking great and continuing ethno-linguistic diversity
Geography enhances E-W and N-S overland communication (Silk Roads)
Episodes of involvement by China-based states:
New Kashgar rail station (1999)
XJ foreign trade (imports and exports)
1990 = 410 million (US$)
2000 = 2.3 billion
2004 = 5.7 billion
Urumchi international trade fair
Id Kah Mosque
Id Kah Mosque and square
Under renovation in 2004
Former Urumchi Holiday Inn,
once tallest bldg. in town.